Fairhope’s Friendly Advice Booth

September 10, 2015

10  comments

sign friendlyFor over a year now, I’ve attempted to get a good photograph of Sonya and Nancye’s Friendly Advice booth at Latte’ Da Coffee Shop inside Page and Palette Bookstore. First of all, the popular attraction is usually set up in front of a window, so there’s always too much light for a good photo, and also, people aren’t really fond of being photographed while they’re, “in session.”

coffee

But alas, I persevered and came up with these slightly glaring images for you to see.

Nancye Jennings and Sonya Bennett are like many Fairhope residents. They looked for their gifts, and then found a way to offer them to the community. Knowing they had years of experience with . . . well, just about everything, they approached Page and Palette owner Karin Wilson and offered their services. The store built the low-tech, but oh-so-efficient booth, and it was decided the 5 cent fee for advice would go into a scholarship fund.

Karyn

Above is my friend, author Dr. Karyn Tunks. She’s like most people who are hesitant at first, thinking it’s too immature, silly, scary, weird . . . whatever, but after (their adorable friend drags them over saying, “you’ll love it, I promise!”) just a few minutes, find themselves deeply entranced with the wisdom and kindness of the “advice ladies.”

card

When I visited the advice booth, I thought I would just humor myself and get a good story, but then they asked me to choose a card from a deck and read it aloud. “Oh, it’s one of those hocus-pocus card tricks you see in Jackson Square in New Orleans my Sunday School teacher warned me about.” I thought. But after reading the card, which wasn’t hocus-pocus at all, Sonya and Nancye looked at me and said, “What do you think about reliability?” After a brief back and forth exchange, they asked, “What is it that’s on your mind today?”

advice“Well, nothing really.” I told them. But then, I reconsidered and said, “You know, there is this one thing that keeps bothering me . . .” and suddenly, we were off to the races. They’ve raised kids, taught school, and probably wrangled horses. Between the two of them, they have experience with the good, bad and the ugly. Nothing is too shocking for Nancye and Sonya, and conversations always remain confidential.


bunnies

Soothing, calming, never judgmental, Fairhope’s very own advice booth draws a crowd of men, women, children and adults, who often wait in line to hear what these wise, generous women have to say. Sometimes, it’s nice to just have someone sit and listen to us.

And for only 5 cents, it’s totally worth the wait.

lucy-advice-booth

Stealing all the business away from bossy Lucy, Sonya and Nancye’s Friendly Advice Booth is open Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 11:30am until whenever the concerns of the city are met.

Here’s the web site with phone number and directions to Latte’ Da. (HERE).

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Gulf Coast Newspapers now has a new version, THE BALDWIN TIMES, which will cover all of Baldwin County in one issue! On news stands every Friday, my column, Southern with a Gulf Coast accent, will be featured in this issue. I’m very excited to be part of this new paper, so if you’re in the area, check it out!

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And . . . the Fairhope Supply Co. mobile web site has been updated, so it should work much better on your phones and ipad. Give it a try and let me know how you like it!

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And finally . . . in case you missed me screaming it in the streets, click over to see upcoming authors at Page and Palette and the scoop on how I’m going to get to meet author Jan Karon!!! (HERE).

Leave a Reply

  1. What a cute idea. I have always wanted to be a name consultant. Maybe I could set up a free booth at BabiesRUS!!lol…Really the names I see posted in our weekly newspaper make me want to pull my hair out! People do need help, believe me!!

    1. Oh, my gosh! Arlene!!! What a hilarious idea! you and I think alike. I’ve wanted to write a story for years about the things people name their children, but I would offend probably half of the population! What are they thinking? Even normal names have to be spelled crazy now. A name consultant booth would be great. I’ll set one up for you outside the maternity ward if you’ll come sit in it!!!

  2. Only in Fairhope! This is the craziest cool idea ever! And yes, sometimes we just need someone outside our lives to listen! 5 cents is a bargain 🙂

  3. Those ladies are quite a gift to the folks of Fairhope! I’m impressed by their clever method for getting “patients” to open up. Also, Latte Da is the best name EVER for a coffee shop!

  4. These are two clever ladies. What a wonderful way to share their gift with the community. The more I think of it, I just may have to make a trip to Fairhope soon.

    1. Come on over! I don’t think they take reservations, but we’ll let you cut in line if you are an out-of-towner!

  5. This is the cutest idea ever – adore the stand and what a great way for these wise ladies to share their gift with the community. Yet another reason for us to visit Fairhope and Page and Palette Bookstore!! Happy weekend ~

  6. I saw them there the other day when we met. I’m guessing that’s when y’all chatted with them too. I think the idea is so cute and so Fairhope. I’m glad you went into more detail about what they’re doing. . .I seriously thought it was a joke. Glad to know it wasn’t!

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